Posts Tagged “Covid-19 funding opportunities”

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Building Capacity to Combat COVID-19 in Africa Call for Proposals

Posted by | 03/07/2020 | Funding Opportunities in Africa 2020, Funding Opportunities in Ghana 2020

Building Capacity to Combat COVID-19 in Africa Call for Proposals

COVID-19 in Africa

The Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, has a new initiative supporting innovators and young entrepreneurs who are developing solutions to combat COVID-19 in Africa.

The Zicklin Center has issued a call for proposals, open to students and young professionals (ages 18 to 35 years old) from around the world interested in offering innovative ideas for an effective private and public sector response to the pandemic throughout Africa.

Wharton School is an ecosystem partner of the Entrepreneurship World Cup, contributing with knowledge used to help inform and educate participants as well as outreach efforts to foster the participation of its alumni and leading entrepreneurship stakeholders around the world.

The program intends to:

Utilize different modalities to support capacity development and access to knowledge.
Facilitate the creation of multidisciplinary teams by connecting global talent with field experts, policymakers, and key players from the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Provide visibility to innovative solutions at the Zicklin Center at Wharton thus providing additional opportunities to attract strategic partners and investors.
More information is on the Zicklin Center site. Those interested must submit a proposal by September 15, 2020.

Following submission, proposals will be reviewed based on their significance, originality, feasibility, and clarity. Active support and mentorship will be provided, along with feedback and networking opportunities.

May 7, 2020 – The Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School and its many partners are issuing a call for proposals for a new initiative: Building Capacity to Combat CAVID-19 in Africa: Ideas and Innovations from Young Entrepreneurs


The Zicklin Center is launching this Initiative under its pillar: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & INNOVATION and in collaboration with Wharton’s Global Social Impact students club and several other partners. The Initiative is supported by many partnerships, including global and local networks created within the Ideas for Action (I4A) Initiative (

The initiative is open to students and young professionals (ages 18 to 35 years old) from around the world interested in offering innovative ideas for an effective private and public sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic in countries throughout Africa.

The objective of this initiative is to encourage capacity building ideas and innovations from young entrepreneurs, within diverse teams, supported by senior decision-makers and experts in international development, academia, and the private sector. All proposals will be reviewed and offered feedback. The teams will also receive support from a dedicated startup accelerator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with other young business leaders.

Policy Making and Community Based Projects

We encourage proposals that address four broad issues:

Policy Making: Proposals should offer innovations in improving government and other policy making entities responses to the COVID-19. Fragility, weak institutions, and underdeveloped public health systems undermine the effective response to COVID-19. How can we build capacity for good governance, compliance, transparency, accountability, and responsibility in COVID -19 responses? How should we support entrepreneurship in government and health care institutions so that “locally nurtured” ideas get support from the leading authorities? How should we support idea generation from the middle ranks and front lines of organizations? Given today’s rapid pace of change in health care systems, public-private partnerships are of critical importance. How should we encourage public-private partnerships to generate successful health care innovations?

Start-up: How should we expand the activities of existing start-ups or new ones to address COVID-19 challenges in Africa.

Technology and Big Data: How should we best utilize technology, AI, blockchain, and big data in the search for innovative responses to the COVID-19?

Community-Based Projects: Substantial experience and capacity already addresses critical health care issues in poor communities, not only in Philadelphia but also other large metropolitan areas in the United States. How should we incorporate these lessons in addressing the challenges raised by COVID-19 in Africa.

Why Should You Participate?

Networking: Diverse Teams

By utilizing our networks, including nearly 20,000 alumni participants in the I4A Initiative, we are well positioned to facilitate the creation of diverse teams, in terms of location, expertise, and cultural background. If you need, we can also help you bring new team members. Let us know if you would like to share your initial ideas through our networks, so that we can facilitate access to potential new team members, including local or global entrepreneurs.

Beyond Single Project: Leadership in Shaping the Local Ecosystem – Strengthening and Creating Markets

This is your unique leadership moment – an opportunity to demonstrate leadership not only through proposing specific, innovative projects but to get actively involved in managing the initiative locally. Send us ideas on how to best utilize your local presence to shape the external ecosystem and strengthen and create markets, thus making them more supportive to scaling up and implementing the projects. What are the best ways to improve governance, compliance, transparency, accountability, and responsibility in the local ecosystem?

Capturing Best Practices and Knowledge Exchange

Although the Initiative is focused on Africa, we would like to invite you to share your local knowledge, particularly community based best practices, which may be beneficial for the implementation of proposals in Africa. Of course, we are mindful of the limitations of North to South knowledge exchanges; some of the best practices from countries in Africa could be equally relevant elsewhere, including underdeveloped communities in developed countries.

Capacity Development and Access to Knowledge

Based on our longstanding experience with the I4A Initiative, we will utilize different modalities to support capacity development and access to knowledge, both in person and online. This will include resources available at the University of Pennsylvania and other partners, ranging from access to knowledge, including Knowledge@Wharton and guest lectures, to locally supported Ideation workshops.


To support your idea, we will connect teams with those who work within the field and have years of business, policymaking, and development experience. This will include access to a mentor or advisor, either at University of Pennsylvania, or at other institutions across the world, who can serve as a constant sounding board and also provide referrals for other individuals that each team may reach out to.

Promoting your Work

In addition to providing substantive feedback from our accelerator and experts, opportunities to get new team members, and access to knowledge, we will feature your work at the Zicklin Center and the I4A’s websites, thus providing additional opportunities to attract strategic partners and investors.


September 15, 2020. The proposals will be reviewed and offered feedback on a first come, first serve base, starting from the moment we will receive the proposal. If you need our support in identifying new team members and finalizing your ideas, please contact us and send the summary of your idea ( by June 20.

For more information, including the format of the proposal or the summary of the proposal, please see the Zicklin Center and the I4A’s websites.

Submission Portal

When you and your team are ready to submit your idea, please access the submission portal through the link on the Ideas for Action website at


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Just Tech Rapid-Response Grants

Posted by | 02/07/2020 | Funding Opportunities in Ghana 2020, Funding Opportunities in Africa 2020

Just Tech Rapid-Response Grants

Just Tech Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grants

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), as part of its Just Tech program, seeks proposals from across the social sciences and related fields that address the risks, opportunities, and challenges posed by public health surveillance stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

We specifically encourage proposals that interrogate the role the public and private sectors may play in mitigating or exacerbating the health crisis, the effects of which are already unevenly distributed.

Please visit our application portal to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


From Hurricane Katrina to Covid-19, disasters often exacerbate social inequalities, having disproportionate effects on historically marginalized populations.

Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic has already laid bare the vast differences in available infrastructure, long-term support, and economic security available to different segments of society.

As we sprint to devise solutions that will necessarily marry state intervention with technological development—exposure notification, wearables, contact tracing, and the federation of varied forms of personal data, such as electronic health records, geolocation information, and consumer data—we must also pause to reflect on how choices made now will structure political, social, and public health risks and opportunities on the horizon.

As societies expand efforts to conduct contact tracing and mass testing, or engage in rapid transitions to remote work and learning, it is imperative that social researchers ask critical questions and provide frameworks and methods that address these interventions with focused attention to issues of power, inequality, and social impact.

While new knowledge is urgently needed, in the conditions of the present moment many social research methodologies are either not possible or require adaptation in order to protect the health and safety of both researchers and research subjects.

The Just Tech Rapid-Response Grants will thus support innovative research projects that deploy remote research methods to shed light on both the short- and potential long-term implications of public health interventions for a range of rights, liberties, and public goods. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Contact tracing and public health surveillance
  • Voting access and rights amid “lockdowns” and widespread social distancing
  • Disparities in the collection, representation, and use of health data
  • The digital divide in remote work and learning, education, and public health
  • Precarity of labor and work in the tech industry or gig economy
  • Remote organizing, campaigning, and social movements
  • The impact of predictive algorithms on the provision of social welfare and policing

These topics are illustrative. Applicants are welcome to propose others. Projects illuminating the experiences of historically marginalized people are especially encouraged, as are those that can constructively inform policy responses across communities and institutions.

Eligibility and Criteria

The Just Tech program invites proposals for Rapid-Response Grants from researchers—based at both academic and nonacademic institutions—who hold a PhD in any social science discipline or related interdisciplinary field. The grants offer up to six months of support toward research-related expenses.

These include, but are not limited to, access to datasets, archives, and relevant publications; costs related to conducting online research of various kinds; and research assistance. Applications are welcome from any country around the world.

Awards will range from USD $5,000 to $10,000, with larger amounts directed to projects committed to research partnerships grounded in principles of ethical collaboration and equity, composed of partners who might not otherwise work together.

In this regard, strong teams will not simply be interdisciplinary, but multi-method or cross-sector, joining, for example:

  • humanists and social scientists
  • social and natural scientists
  • qualitative and quantitative methodologists
  • academic researchers and practitioners
  • researchers from different parts of the world

Proposals will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary review committee based on their relevance to the topic, quality and intellectual merit, potential for innovation, the fit between their research question and research design, and feasibility under current constraints on research. Applicants should describe in some detail how they intend to address these constraints in the methods they propose, as well as the ethical dimensions of their research plans and methods. Applicants should specify their intended outputs for the project and the audience(s) for those outputs.  Successful applicants will be expected to participate in an online workshop with other grantees and are required to contribute at least one brief essay to the SSRC’s digital forum Items: Insights from the Social SciencesDetailed eligibility requirements may be found on the FAQs page.

Applications may be submitted through the SSRC’s application portal, and will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the first period of review beginning on August 31, 2020.

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UNICEF COVID-19 Innovation Challenge 2020 Receiving Applications

UNICEF COVID-19 Innovation Challenge

COVID-19 is impacting us all as we deal with the new normal of social distancing and lockdowns. Misinformation and fake news amplify our fears.

Hard realities like loss of income, job insecurity, stalled education, food shortages and lack of clean water, force us to explore unique ways to cope. While we cannot always prevent such impacts, we can be better prepared.

UNICEF has partnered with Cartedo to empower youth across Africa to solve a series of global grand challenges and positively impact communities while developing employability skills.

We believe that youth have unique perspectives on these challenges and should be given the opportunity to become knowledge producers. This is your chance to Be seen, Be heard and Be the Change!


This challenge gives youth a voice in exploring how we might empower people and communities to become more pandemic-resilient. We are looking for your ideas tosolve real challenges faced by real people just like you.

This challenge offers you the opportunity to develop future-ready employability skills like design thinking while contributing to the global efforts to tackle COVID-19. As you progress through this challenge, you’ll use a human-centered design approach to:

  1. Discover how COVID-19 is impacting real people in different ways
  2. Define these challenges from a human-centered perspective, and
  3. Develop innovative solutions to these challenges

You’ll start by exploring human needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and turn your findings into core challenges faced by real people.

By using our tools &techniques you will generate multiple ideas to solve these challenges and prototype solutions to share with people around the world.

Comments Off on AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa

AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa

Posted by | 11/05/2020 | Funding Opportunities in Africa 2020, Funding Opportunities in Ghana 2020

AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa

AAS Funding for Covid-19

AAS Funding for Covid-19 Research & Development Goals for Africa is a call to action for African scientists to attend to the research and development needs of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The AAS Funding for Covid-19 is set to stop receiving applications for this call on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 1700 hrs EAT.

However, due to the urgency of this work, all applications will be taken through triage and scientific review as soon as they are received.

The AAS Funding for Covid-19 has the discretion to stop receiving applications for this call before the application close date if adequate proposals would have been received and recommended for funding before the closing date.

Funding call for R&D goals for Covid-19 in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for Africa, with every country potentially at risk for unmitigated spread of SARS-CoV2.

Like most health systems in the world, there is a risk for current levels of care to be overwhelmed by sheer volume of patients requiring intensive care and ventilatory support.

In addition, health care workers are at risk of acquiring SARS-CoV2 and given limited infection control practices in many settings, there is also risk of nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV2 among patients.

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is keen to play a central role in building African Research and Development (R&D) capacity to fight COVID-19 by managing day-to-day running of the proposed fund for COVID-19 R&D priorities in Africa.

A recent survey of African scientists conducted by the AAS developed initially from an AAS ‘’All Hands’’ webinar on COVID-19 held on 26th March 2020 and conducted from the 4th to 8th of April 2020 established a priority list of Research and Development questions for the COVID-19 outbreak in Africa. The results of the survey can be found here.

This call supported by Sida (Sweden), Wellcome Trust, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is therefore a call to action for African scientists to attend to the research and development needs of the COVID-19 outbreak for the continent as identified by African scientists.

There is need to provide robust scientific evidence to the country emergency response teams. The priorities listed are widely applicable across the continent yet require local context and expertise in order to address in a timely and effective manner the issues arising even as the outbreak evolves.

Eligibility for AAS Funding for Covid-19


  • Is a legal entity;
  • Is based in Africa.


  • Projects that do not primarily respond to the research and development goals of the COVID-19 public health outbreak response;
  • Projects focussing on implementation or delivery services for the COVID-19 outbreak control;
  • Projects solely focused on network building, capacity building and infrastructure projects without a working hypothesis;
  • Complex and high-risk projects that cannot be undertaken within the 24 months available;
  • Projects with minimal contribution towards the R&D priorities of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Award period

Funding may be requested for an implementation period of up to two years (24 months).

Award amount

The maximum amount allowable for a single grant is US$200,000 to be held for two (2) years.

Costs categories for AAS Funding for Covid-19  are:

  1. Materials and consumables
  2. Capital Costs/Equipment
  3. Research Training Costs
  4. Other Research Costs
  5. Office Administrative Costs
  6. Salaries

Cost challenges shall be made at the triage stage.

This AAS Funding for Covid-19 will focus on areas of priority for research and development in COVID-19 outbreak control as identified by African scientists. These areas of focus include but are not limited to;

  • Epidemiological studies;
  • Clinical management;
  • Infection prevention and control, including health care protection;
  • Candidate vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics;
  • Ethical considerations for research;
  • Social sciences in a pandemic response.

To be more specific, below is an example of priority questions for this call. Questions that seek to deliver any of the below will be prioritized. For reference please check the results of the AAS COVID-19 survey here.

    • Understand the effectiveness of movement control strategies to prevent secondary transmission in health care and community settings;
    • Optimize the effectiveness of PPE and its use in reducing the risk of transmission in health care and community settings;
    • Develop new PPE approaches using local materials and manufacturing processes;
    • Understand behavioural and cultural factors influencing compliance with evidence-based Infection Prevention and Control measures;
    • Describe the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 and understand the spread of disease nationally, regionally and globally;
    • Describe disease severity and susceptibility to facilitate effective clinical and public health response to COVID-19 identify groups at high risk of severe infection;
    • Perform rapid population cross-sectional surveys to establish the extent of virus transmission using a standardized sampling framework;
    • Establish suitable cohorts and prospectively collect laboratory and outcome data;
    • Have a special focus on potentially at-risk groups including malnourished individuals and people with HIV, TB, Sickle Cell, and uncontrolled chronic disease patients;
    • Evaluate the impact of control and mitigation measures e.g. modelling to estimate the effects of social distancing measures and other non-pharmaceutical interventions;
    • Develop protocols for the management of severe disease in the absence of intensive care facilities;
    • Determine interventions that improve the clinical outcome of COVID-19 infected patients;
    • Determine optimal clinical practice strategies to improve the processes of care e.g. develop criteria for early diagnosis, when to discharge, when to use adjuvant therapies for patients and contacts;
    • Develop innovative approaches to use as alternatives to ventilation;
    • Identify prognostic factors for severe disease;
    • Develop platform(s) to maximize the commonality of data collection across trials, and collaborations between trials;
    • Define the natural history of COVID-19 infection through careful standardised and comprehensive clinical and laboratory description of cases;
    • Determine how best to link key research questions with researchers in affected regions who are able to recruit patients;
    • Develop mechanisms to support coordinated collaboration to implement clinical trials for evaluation of safety/efficacy of therapeutics;
    • Develop a Multicentre Master Protocol to evaluate efficacy and safety;
    • Identification of existing candidates for clinical evaluation in addition to the ones already prioritized;
    • Support basic science to identify new drug targets;
    • Develop a multi-country Master Protocol for Phase 2b/Phase 3 vaccine evaluation to determine whether candidate vaccines are safe and effective before widespread distribution;
    • Build capacity development for basic science and pre-clinical development of new vaccines;
    • Identify therapeutic candidates for clinical evaluation in addition to the ones already prioritized;
    • Establish processes for speeding up an ethical review of COVID-19 related research proposals;
    • Establish a panel of African ethicists to provide rapid support to local ethical committees assessing COVID-19 related research proposals;
    • Define a research governance framework that enables effective and ethical collaboration between multiple stakeholders, including WHO, the global research community, subject matter experts, public health officials, funders, and ethicists;
    • Sustained education, access, and capacity building to facilitate effective cross-working and collaboration across the research thematic areas;
    • Identify key knowledge gaps and research priorities in relation to ethical issues arising out of proposed restrictive public health measures (e.g., quarantine, isolation, cordon sanitaire);
    • Support work to develop cheaper, faster easier to use in field antigen tests (for virus detection);
    • Support work to develop cheaper, faster easier to use in field antibody tests (for determining exposure);
    • Support the development of diagnostics products to improve clinical processes;
    • Support work to examine alternative approaches to delivering testing e.g. centralized versus devolved lab facilities;
    • Characterize immunity (naturally acquired, population and vaccine-induced, including mucosal immunity);
    • Develop tools and conduct studies to monitor phenotypic change and potential adaptation of the virus;
    • Establish capacity for genotyping virus e.g. to detect new mutations over time;
    • Pathogen genetic sequencing and network development that primarily responds to SARS-CoV-2 public health response according to this document ;
    • Determine virus stability in the environment;
    • Understand virus compartments, shedding and natural history of the disease;
    • Develop disease models in animals;
    • Examine optimal ways of communicating about potential interventions in high-density low socioeconomic status urban settings;
    • Ensure that knowledge is produced according to local, national and regional needs;
    • Investigate ways of ensuring transparency of information flow and mitigating false information spread by various mechanisms;
    • Develop guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to operationalize epidemic mitigation mechanisms;
    • Engage with communities to bring their voices to decision-making processes;
    • Develop and connect global research networks with response partners;
    • Understand how social and economic impacts need to be mitigated;
    • Investigate innovative approaches to short-term economic support of vulnerable populations such as cash transfer bymobile money mechanisms;
    • Promote the prioritization of knowledge needs according to epidemic dynamics;
    • Develop innovative interdisciplinary science;
    • Ensure that non-social scientists easily understand knowledge outputs and methodological limitations;
    • Support work to understand the non-intended consequences of epidemic-control decisions;
    • Support work to understand contextual vulnerability of work in COVID-19 outbreak control;
    • Understand how decisions in the field may inadvertently undermine response goals;
    • Design and test suitable risk reduction strategies at the human-animal-environment interface;
    • Improve the understanding of socioeconomic and behavioural risk factors for spill-over and transmission between animals and humans;
    • Identify animal source and route of transmission (hosts, any evidence of continued spill-over to humans and transmission between animals and humans).
UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund Agile Response COVID-19 Call

UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund

UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund invites proposals for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in Low and Middle Income Countries1.

This call is funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund. These Funds address global challenges through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and strengthen capability for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries, providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need. These Funds form part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment.

Researchers holding existing UKRI GCRF grants should in the first instance consider whether they could repurpose that funding to address the objectives of this call. You can apply to switch your existing funding here. Repurposing your existing grant is the quickest way to start the research.

  • Project length: up to 18 months
  • Eligibility: UK applicants must be eligible to receive Research Council funding.
    Additional eligibility rules apply for international applicants, please see below
  • Closing date: none – apply at any time
  • Funding: 80% of the full economic cost (fEC) for Research Council funding.
    Additional funding rules apply for international applicants, please see below
  • The primary benefit of proposals should be to any Low and Middle income Countries (LMICs) likely to be negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • Award range: there is no specific budget for this call. We are interested in funding research of any scale that can demonstrate it will deliver impact during the lifetime of the project.

COVID-19 is fundamentally a global crisis. The pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world. While the epicentre of the pandemic is currently focused around Europe and the US, a growing number of cases are reported in Africa, the Middle East, and Central, South America and Asia with potentially serious social, economic and political consequences for these regions. Some of the poorest societies in the world will be the least prepared and most vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Other Low and Middle Income Countries may however have experiences, for example from TB / HIV / Ebola, of responding to epidemics from which they and the rest of the world can learn.

UKRI will support excellent proposals which meet at least one of the following:

  • New research or innovation with a clear pathway to impact on policy or practice that has the potential (within the period of the award) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, response to, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in a developing country context.
  • Supports the manufacture and/or wide scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential for impact in developing countries.
  • Gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use.

Applications for funding that do not, as their primary objective, benefit the welfare of low or middle income countries should apply instead to the UKRI open call for funding to address the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

See our regularly updated list of research and innovation projects and other awards supported by UKRI

You will need to show that you can start work within 4 weeks of the funding being confirmed.

An individual can be Principal Investigator (PI) on only one bid at any one time. You may support others as co-investigator, as long as you have the capacity/bandwidth to do so without detriment to the project you lead.

You may be asked to become part of wider consortia or join with already existing efforts.

Applying from within the UK

Proposals will be accepted by anyone based in a UK Research Organisation (RO) eligible to receive funding from UKRI Research Councils or based in approved Research Organisations overseas (see applying from overseas, below). This does not include companies or SMEs that would be eligible to receive Innovate UK funding.

It is expected that proposals will engage equitably with research organisations, other organisations, and communities in the partner countries or LMIC countries where impact will be delivered. Proposals must have a minimum of one LMIC Co-Investigator and where possible we would expect involvement of Co-Investigators from the country/ countries in which the study is situated.

Applying from outside the UK

We strongly encourage applicants from LMIC countries to apply to and participate in this call. LMIC country Principal Investigators from an organisation that lead or have previously led and held UKRI grants and have undergone Je-S registration and due diligence checks are eligible to be lead applicants for this call. The LMIC-based organisation must be able to receive and manage funds from UKRI via a grant and must ensure their application complies with local regulations and has the necessary local approvals.

Support for applicants from outside the UK

This call will cover 100% fEC costs for Principal and Co-Investigators from LMICs. This applies to Investigators from Low and Middle Income Countries identified on the OECD DAC list of ODA recipients.

International co-investigators from countries not on the DAC list are permitted on proposals and this call will cover 100% fEC of costs for such collaborators. However, salary costs need to be clearly justified and their total cost of the proposal must not exceed 30% of fEC. International co-investigators from countries not on the DAC list are expected to make a significant contribution to their own research costs, including covering their own overheads.

From 2020/21, the UK’s partnerships with China and India under the Global Challenges Research Fund and the Newton Fund will have a renewed focus on delivering global development impact. The UK will continue to work in close partnership with these countries on cutting-edge research, with the primary objective of delivering benefit to developing countries around the world, as well as secondary benefits in the UK, China and India.

Applications that include Co-Investigators from China and India should clearly justify salary costs. Total costs of grant components from China and India are limited to 30% of the fEC of the proposal. It is expected that international co-investigators from China and India make a significant contribution to their own research costs, including covering their own overheads. Applicants from China and India are not eligible to be Principal Investigators under this call.

Health impacts

In parallel to this agile responsive call, a strategic ODA Cross-Departmental call is being explored by UKRI/DHSC/DFID for research proposals addressing COVID-19 in LMICs. This strategic call will be focused on specific health priorities outlined in the WHO R&D Blueprint COVID-19 Roadmap, addressing gaps identified in the current health research agenda through a consultative process that involved experts from across the world. For proposals likely to fit within this remit, please await further notice about this strategic opportunity before applying to the Agile UKRI call. Topics likely to be in scope are:

  • Epidemiological studies
  • Clinical characterization and management
  • Infection prevention and control including health care workers’ protection
  • Social Sciences in the Outbreak Response (access to health care services/vaccination etc) NOT socio-economic generally

Research and innovation is at the heart of the global response to COVID-19. Focused upon, and closely working in partnership with LMICs, the GCRF and Newton Fund are very well placed to enable the best researchers in the UK and internationally to respond and recover from this global crisis. This agile response programme enables the GCRF and Newton Fund to build on their current portfolios addressing the Sustainable Development Goals in order to help mitigate negative impacts in developing countries of the COVID-19 outbreak. Proposals supported through this programme will contribute to the strategic aims of the 6 portfolio areas:

  • Resilience
  • Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement
  • Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Food Systems
  • Education
  • Global Health

Further information can be found on the GCRF website and Newton Fund website.

This GCRF/Newton Fund call focuses upon mitigating both short and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on health, wellbeing, community cohesion, and economic prosperity. In the health sphere, mental health, health economics, and malnutrition are all impacted by the virus and require interdisciplinary research. As well as a health emergency, COVID-19 highlights the importance of understanding underlying determinants of risk in LMICs, including the quality of public messaging and community engagement, the vulnerabilities of those living in refugee and IDP (internally displaced person) camps and informal settlements, higher incidences of domestic violence resulting from social isolation, remittances from overseas, impacts upon global food systems and supply chains and severely restricted access to education.

You will need to show why it is not possible to resource the work by repurposing existing funds you may have available.

Proposals should:

  • Describe the unmet need developing countries are facing with COVID-19, and how the primary benefit of your research will be realised in these countries.
  • Focus on working in close partnership with LMICs to enable the best researchers and innovators in the UK and developing countries to jointly contribute to recovery from this global crisis.
  • Clearly demonstrate how the proposed research meets the criteria for ODA compliance and Gender Equality.
  • Explain the level of urgency, and why the activity is important now.
  • Demonstrate that the proposal has the necessary critical mass to make a difference, including the global partnerships that will be necessary to realise impact in LMIC countries.
  • Demonstrate their commitment to minimizing the burden their project will place on others. Given the urgency and the demands the development of the proposal and carrying out of the project will place on others, applicants should be mindful of the burden they place on individuals and organisations, both in the UK and overseas. This includes consideration of how to conduct fieldwork and other activities.
  • Demonstrate a clear route to impact within the timescale of the project. Where relevant, this should include demonstration of links to relevant decision makers both in the UK and overseas.
  • Give an estimate of the resources required (within 10%).
  • Name the team that will run this and describe their ability and capacity to deliver including details of how research would be conducted under current restrictions (travel, social distancing) and highlight any requirements for personal protective equipment.
  • Provide evidence that the host institutions support the proposal and that the research can be carried out under present institutional restriction.

Getting approval from your host institution

You need approval to confirm that the work is achievable under whatever constraints are currently in place in your department/university. UK institutions must confirm that they are content for you to focus on this work under 80%fEC funding.

Eligible LMIC institutions must confirm that they have previously been awarded UKRI funding and have the processes in place to be able to receive and manage funds from UKRI via a grant; all organisations must also ensure their application complies with local regulations and has the necessary local approvals.

The approval can be from whoever has authority to give such assurance whether that is your department head, university research office or pro-VCs office.

Please note that we would like to see evidence that work could begin within four weeks of confirmation of funding.

Data and software sharing and open access requirements

Data produced as a result of this funding will need to be shared in line with the Joint statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak, to which UKRI is a signatory.

Software, such as analysis scripts, spreadsheets, or modelling codes, created as part of the work under this funding should be similarly shared.

Examples of suitable data depositories include:

Software, analysis scripts and modelling codes should be made available through a version control service such as Github or Gitlab.

Proposals that are out of scope

These include:

  • A proposal where the primary focus is not a DAC list country. The primary focus must be on a country or countries on the DAC list that is not flagged as likely to graduate. Any proposals that do not have a primary focus on a developing country or countries will not be eligible.
  • Funding to directly mitigate the effects of the pandemic on specific institutions and businesses.
  • A proposal that is more appropriate to other existing funding calls and /or other research funders. These include proposals that are not specifically addressing developing countries, but have the involvement of international collaborators, these applicants can apply to the UK-focused UKRI call.
  • Longer term research proposals that address the COVID-19 emergency or future pandemics that don’t meet the urgency guidelines. These proposals should be submitted through normal responsive mode.
  • Those proposals that were rejected after assessment, or currently have an application submitted to the UKRI Open call for research and innovation ideas to address COVID-19

GCRF and the Newton Fund form part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ODA-funded activity focuses on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee DAC list. Funding within this call will therefore be awarded in a manner that fits with Official ODA guidelines.

To comply with ODA requirements, applications must make clear how their primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of a developing country or countries. There are no priority countries, proposals may relate to any country or countries on the DAC list except those which are flagged as likely to graduate from the list during the course of the proposed project. If a country is flagged as likely to graduate it cannot be the primary focus of a proposal, although it can be included as an additional case study or comparison.

From 2020/21, the UK’s partnerships with China and India under the Global Challenges Research Fund and the Newton Fund will have a renewed focus on delivering global development impact. The UK will continue to work in close partnership with these countries on cutting-edge research, with the primary objective of delivering benefit to developing countries around the world, as well as secondary benefits in the UK, China and India.

Please note, successful applicants will be required to submit a full 1 page ODA compliance statement as a pre-requisite to funding. UKRI reserve the right to reject the application if the ODA compliance statement is deemed insufficient.

Further guidance for applicants on the ODA compliance statements is available here (PDF, 327KB).

Equitable Partnerships

Equitable Partnerships are a key pillar of the GCRF and Newton Fund. UKRI developed the following statement of expectation for research partnerships in consultation with researchers from East Africa: Partnerships should be transparent and based on mutual respect. Partnerships should aim to have clearly articulated equitable distribution of resources, responsibilities, efforts and benefits. Partnerships should recognise different inputs, different interests and different desired outcomes and should ensure the ethical sharing and use of data which is responsive to the identified needs of society. Further guidance on how to develop and maintain equitable research partnerships can be found below.

To comply with the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014, applications must briefly outline how they have taken meaningful yet proportionate consideration as to how the project will contribute to reducing gender inequalities in the Gender Equality section of the application form.

Please note successful applicants will be required to submit a full 1 page gender equality statement as a pre-requisite to funding. UKRI reserve the right to reject the application if no consideration has been given to gender equality or if the proposal is assessed to result in a negative impact for gender equality.

Further guidance for applicants on the gender equality statements is available.


To apply you need to:

  1. Fill in the proposal application form (Word, 53KB)All proposals must utilise the provided form and be accompanied by:
    • The regulatory requirements annex that forms part of the application form.
    • An optional document of supporting figures, GANTT chart and/or data tables (no more than 1xA4 page). If this is included, applications must be collated into a single pdf in the following order – Form plus Annex, Document of supporting figures, GANTT chart and/or data tables
  2. Email your single PDF to UKRI GCRFCV19

Please ensure you set out clearly answers to all questions asked on the form, as incomplete proposals will be rejected.

Receipt will be acknowledged within 2 working days and in most circumstances, PIs will have an initial response on the proposal within 10 working days.

Proposals should be sent through this route for any research or innovation relevant to the above regardless of funding Council or whether relevant to multiple Councils.

Information relating to proposals may be shared, on a confidential basis, across UKRI councils, and with other organisations to support the national and international coordination of research to combat COVID-19 and to seek funding contributions from third parties.

Given the rapid developments in this and other funding calls addressing CV19, we are constantly reviewing our processes to ensure we are reducing bureaucracy and keeping things as simple as possible. In light of this we have simplified the application form, removing the need for detailed financial information at the first stage.

How we will assess your application

All requests for repurposing and new grants will be considered by a UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund Agile Response Panel.

You may be asked for more information before a grant is confirmed

Visit the official scholarship website here